Welcome back to our Freshman Film Room series! Today we will be taking a look at the film of cornerback Channing Canada. Canada is a JUCO transfer, so he will actually come in as a sophomore. Canada is listed at 6-1, 185 lbs, he was the #1 JUCO cornerback (#3 overall) recruit according to On3, and he was the #2 recruit in the TCU 2023 class.
Feel free to follow along with the highlight film as we go through some of the plays. As we did last time, I will list the start time of the play in discussion and share my thoughts and analysis. Make sure you note the start time of the play, as I may jump forward on occasion. Canada’s tape starts by sharing that he played 179 coverage snaps last year, and he only allowed 2 receptions for 10 yards. This is an incredibly impressive statistic, and most likely what earned him the #1 CB ranking.
0:10 - Canada’s highlight tape starts with a kick return (stick around and you’ll see plenty more). This clip does a great job of showcasing Canada’s speed. When returning kickoffs the key is to make 1 cut and go, and that is exactly what Canada does here.
0:24 - Canada is the cornerback at the top of the formation here. The coverage is 2 read. Simple explanation of 2 read - this coverage is based on a simple rule. Both the corner and safety are reading the 2 receiver. If the 2 receiver’s route breaks towards the sideline within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, then Canada plays him in man. If the 2 receiver is vertical or his route breaks in, then Canada plays the 1 receiver in man. Here, the 2 receiver runs a speed out, so the rules say he’s Canada’s man. Canada does a fantastic job of breaking on the route and makes the play on the receiver just after the catch is made.
0:41 - Another kick return here. This time, Canada fields the kick outside of the right hash. He reverses field, making it to the left sideline where he once again showcases that speed. He does a great job of using his blocks before making one last defender miss on his way to the endzone.
1:01 - As we continue you’ll notice a common theme with his defensive snaps on the tape, Canada rarely has safety help over the top. Canada is playing man on the 1 receiver at the bottom of the formation. The receiver has a hitch-and-go route, and Canada matches him stride for stride the entire route. Can’t do any better than that.
1:16 - Same as before, Canada is playing man on the 1 receiver at the bottom of the formation. The receiver releases outside and vertical here. Corners are taught to get physical with receivers in this situation and ride them towards the sideline, which is exactly what Canada does. As an added bonus he puts the receiver on the ground. Great look.
1:24 - Once again, Canada is playing man with no safety help over the top. Just like the previous clip, the receiver releases outside and vertical. Canada gets his hand on the receiver and takes him to the sideline again.
1:31 - We don’t often get these clips with cornerbacks, but here we see Canada in run support. The ball carrier bounces outside and Canada does a fantastic job of squaring him up and making solid contact. His teammates arrive to help finish off the tackle for what looks like no gain or maybe even a loss of yards.
1:41 - Canada is at the top of the formation in man once again. This time the quarterback decides to take a shot even though the coverage is good. The throw is too high, which allows the safety to get over the top and help, but Canada gets his hand to the ball first to make the play.
2:14 - Offense runs toss to Canada’s side. This is one of the better clips on his highlight because Canada shows off a couple of underappreciated, but important, skills that corners need to have. He sheds the block from the receiver, squares up the ball carrier, and makes the solo tackle. And it’s not one of those ankle tackles corners often make, Canada strikes with his near shoulder, wraps up, and drives the ball carrier to the ground.
3:03 - 3rd and long situation. The defense is in quarters (cover 4). The offense has the 1 receiver running a post route towards the middle of the field, and they try to sneak the 3 receiver up the sidelines on an out and up route. Often times, cornerbacks will chase the post in this look (not their job) and the out and up is wide open. Here, Canada reads it perfectly and almost picks off the pass!
3:33 - 3rd and medium situation here. Canada is playing man with outside leverage on the 1 receiver at the bottom of the formation. The receiver gets off the line pretty well and runs a slant route, but Canada is in his back pocket the entire way and gets his hand in to break up the pass.
3:46 - We’ll end with this one as it’s another one of the best plays on the entire highlight. Here, the offense tries to run a quick screen to the stacked receiver. The receiver trying to block Canada clearly has a size advantage, but Canada strikes him right in the shoulder pads and drives him backwards into his teammate. Canada’s teammates are able to come in and clean up the tackle.
Canada’s tape is impressive. It doesn’t have tons of “big time” plays like interceptions and pass breakups, but it seems to me that most teams chose to not throw his way. The fact that he’s left on an island so often speaks volumes. Coaches aren’t going to leave a guy 1 on 1 with no help that much unless they’re confident in his ability to win the matchup. Having a shutdown corner who takes away a receiving option on every play is a big deal for a defensive coordinator because it allows them to get more creative with the other 10 players. The Horned Frogs return one of the top cornerbacks in the Big 12 with Josh Newton. The additions of Avery Helm and Channing Canada make this one of the best units on the entire team. I expect Canada to see the field this season, and he has a good shot at being an impact player.